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PIA Press Release
Sunday, January 22, 2012


Cordillera tops new born screening stats

by Paul Rillorta

BAGUIO CITY, Jan. 22 (PIA) -- Cordillera is the most compliant in Republic Act 9288 or the New Born Screening Act.

Reports from the University of the Philippines, National Institute of Health,Newborn Screening Reference Center (UP-NIH-NSRC) revealed the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) topped the country’s Newborn Screening Program (NBS) implementation with 67.4 percent coverage, besting Region 6 ‘s (Western Visayas) coverage of 60.5 percent who placed in second and Region 11 (Davao) coverage of 60.3 percent who landed in third.

Also included in the performance evaluation are Region 1 (32.5 percent), Region 2 (40.4 percent), Region 3 (38.8 percent), NCR (51.6 percent), Region 4a (38.2 percent), Region 4b (43 percent), Region 5(21.5 percent), Region 7(36 percent), Region 8 (42.5 percent), Region 9 (33 percent), Region 10(50.6 percent), Region 12 (47.8 percent), CARAGA (36.4 percent) and ARMM (15.3 percent).

The monitoring also showed the country has increased its Newborn Screening Service from 15.6 percent or 234,000 of the 1.5 million babies born annually in 2007 to 42 percent or 713,580 of the 1.7 million babies born for 2011 which have undergone newborn screening.

The Newborn Screening Act was instituted to screen newborns for five metabolic disorders or defects that can be cured when detected right after birth.

It involves extracting blood from an infant’s heel to test for Congenital Hypothyroidism, Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia, Galactosemia, Phenylketonuria and Glucose-6-phosphate Dehydrogenase Deficiency (G6PD).

DOH-Center for Health Development-CAR says at least 71 Newborn Screening Facilities (NSFs) have been their partner in the continued implementation of Newborn Screening Services in the region.

Recently, Newborn Hearing Screening was also introduced by Senator Loren Legarda as House Bill 1372 which aims for the early diagnosis, prevention and intervention of hearing loss among children as a separate legislation from that of RA 9288.

The Department of Health says early detection and treatment of these disorders could increase the infants chances of a normal life. (PIA CAR/PRillorta-Baguio City PIO)

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